by Steven T Seagle

Reviewer Rating:


“Moral calculus can be harder than physics.” Lead character Ted Halker finds himself face to face with this exact conundrum in the recently released graphic novel, Genius. Writer Steven T. Seagle and artist Teddy Krisitiansen have collaborated on a number of projects, notably the Eisner Award-winning It’s a Bird--. The duo proves their mastery of comic vernacular in this tender portrait of a man lost in the trappings of his vast intellect.
Identified as a prodigy early on, Ted becomes a theoretical physicist. But at work he is just a genius among geniuses and finds himself unable to keep up the new talent. Now his wife has been diagnosed with a serious condition and Ted needs a big idea fast in order to hold on to his job. He turns to his spiritual mentor, Einstein for guidance. He is then stunned to learn his ailing father-in-law once worked as a bodyguard for Einstein. And most incredibly “Bert”, as the elderly man refers to him, told him and him alone a secret notion. Ted struggles to move past their contentious relationship and convince his father-in-law to reveal Einstein’s unknown theory. He sees this as the only way out of his dilemma. 
Seagle gets the conversations just right. We find out just as much about the inner workings of Ted’s mind and his social awkwardness through what is left unsaid. The limited color palette of Teddy Kristiansen’s artwork has the feel of that fuzzy just-waking-up place between sleep and consciousness. The images set the tone and add emotional depth as Ted drifts from dream to reality to epiphany.
Ted feels the universe owes him one small realization. In the end we find that is all he needs…
One.  Small.  Realization.

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